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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 28, 2005

City, community leaders celebrate SBC Foundation Grants

The Kansas City, Mo., Information Technology Department joined City leaders, state legislators, and education and business leaders at a celebration today to announce receiving a $20,000 SBC Foundation Excelerator Grant. The grant will assist in the planning phase of a computer center in the Gregg-Klice Community Center. The computer center is scheduled to open in March.

“We are honored to receive this SBC Foundation gift and look forward to providing free access to computers and the Internet, and a wi-fi hotspot in the historic 18th and Vine District,” said Gail Roper, the City’s chief information officer.

The City’s Information Technology Department is partnering with the Kansas City, Mo., School District; the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and the Kansas City Public Library System to launch this project. Additional support for the project will be secured through in-kind donations and other grants.

Elonia Norwood, technology director for the Kansas City, Mo., School District, said “This is a great opportunity for our children to have access to technology after the school day is over.”

“At SBC, we place a high priority on expanding technology access to all people throughout the 13 states that we serve," said Cynthia Brinkley, president, SBC Missouri. "As a partner in this initiative, we're also able to address other areas that are important to all of us at SBC – education and economic development.”

“At SBC, we place a high priority on expanding technology access to all people throughout the 13 states that we serve," said Cynthia Brinkley, president, SBC Missouri. "As a partner in this initiative, we're also able to address other areas that are important to all of us at SBC – education and economic development.”

“Easy access to technology, in the communities in which we live, is a vital resource needed to support the educational efforts of our constituents,” said Missouri State Rep. Sharon Sanders Brooks, 37th District.

There will be 16 computers in the computer center in the Gregg-Klice Community Center and eight additional computers will be available in a common area of the community center. The computer center will be open four hours each day and the computers in the common area will be accessible during the normal operation hours of the community center, which is operated by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Classes will be taught by volunteers and paid interns to introduce users to basic computing and Internet search skills. The center has the technical infrastructure to provide educational enrichment, workforce skills and economic development for residents through computerization.

“By providing computer technology and training in lower income areas, the City will help make a substantial impact on the digital literacy of the residents of this community by assisting them in learning valuable computer skills,” said Councilman Terry Riley, 5th District. One of Riley’s special projects is promoting literacy.

Other SBC Excelerator Grants for Kansas City, Mo., include:

    Full Employment Council/Missouri Education Center Youth Scholarships

    Kansas City Public Library Interactive Web-based Children’s Center

    University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Urban Education.

The SBC Excelerator Grant program is the largest special grants program ever undertaken by the SBC Foundation. The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The grants provide critical funding to hundreds of organizations interested in more fully integrating technology into their ongoing operations and community outreach efforts. Introduced in 2002, the SBC Excelerator Grant program was founded on the idea that technology access and resources can improve lives of people across the nation. To qualify for an SBC Excelerator Grant, an organization’s major focus should address education, community development, health and human services, or arts and culture.

Media inquiries regarding the grant should be directed to Gail Roper, chief information officer, Information Technology Department, (816) 513-3670, or Don Brown, SBC, (785) 276-5992.

    
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